Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pacie Fairy

Clementine's 3rd birthday came and went and we didn't pull the trigger on making her get rid of her pacifier.

Maybe Elise and I both feel the scars of separating Peter with his. The trip through the Brazilian rain forest--which ended with Peter pitching his pacifier over a waterfall--was life-changing for everyone there. Later that same night, I cradled Peter on the bed in the guest room as he sobbed uncontrollably for his pacifier, his mouth working around a phantom limb that was no longer made a sound like he was trying to get peanut butter off the roof of his mouth.

Last week, Elise and I finally got fed up with Clementine whining for her pacifier during the day, and trying to talk to us with it in her mouth when her words just came out as an unintelligible mutter.

"Clementine, I can't understand a word you're saying."

She plucks the pacifier out of her mouth and repeats herself with perfect enunciation.

Elise set the date. Friday. And through out the week, we reminded Clementine that the Pacie Fairy would come in the night to take pacie forever (a la the tooth fairy. Forgive us for our lack of creativity. We were/are/will be continuously exhausted).

So, Saturday morning, at 4:30 a.m, as I tip-toed past the kids' room, I slipped my hand into her mosquito netting and tugged the pacie from between her lips. (Fortunately, it was easy to find. It could have been a lot uglier if I had to pat around her bed or search between the sheets.)

I hid her two remaining pacifiers high up in the back of a cupboard in the laundry room, then went for a run.

I didn't make it far. I turned around at 3 miles for three reasons: 1) it was ridiculously, absurdly, murderously hot and humid, 2) as I was getting ready to jog out the front gate, I saw Peter's head bob through the living room. It was a quarter to five in the morning. I snuck back in to the house and made him go back to bed, but I was still worried he would lay for thirty seconds then just come right back downstairs and start drawing TIE fighters and Star Destroyers like he does every morning, and 3) I wasn't sure how Clementine would react to having her pacifier confiscated by a make-believe nymph.

I made it home before six. Peter and Clementine were downstairs at the dining room table, predictably drawing Star Wars vehicles.

The first thing Clementine says to me as I come in the door is to tell me that the Pacie Fairy came. She was not upset or crying as I'd feared. (I'd only stolen the pacifier from one child in my life and that ended in disaster, so you can't really blame me for my trepidation.) I don't exactly know if she knew what to think so I immediately praised her for being a big girl.

When Mom (Elise) came downstairs, I asked her if she noticed anything different about Clementine. She said she did. I told her Clementine was a "big girl now". Clementine was clearly beaming.

When Sam finally trudged downstairs, I asked him the Sam thing. He may have grumbled a noncommittal response, but when I told him that Clementine was a "big girl now", he brightened and like the good big brother that he is shared in her pride.

That afternoon when it was time to go down for nap, Clementine did without asking for her pacifier. Not once.

That evening, Elise and I went out to dinner, but were back in time to put the kids to bed. Clementine went right to sleep without asking for her pacifier. Not once.

The next night, Sunday, we watched a movie in the evening, and when it was time to turn the TV off, Clementine had a tantrum as she occasionally does. It escalated into a full on conflagration. She ended up in her bed wailing. I laid with her for a minute trying to help her come down, then her mother did. The flames persisted longer than they normally due--I believe--because she didn't have her back-up soothing mechanism, but she never asked for it amidst the screams and tears. Not once.

In fact, Clementine has not made mention of her pacie at all. Not one single time since the Pacie Fairy came.

Not once.

Mission accomplished.

Recycling in India, Part II

Thursday, July 16, 2015